Best Board Games of 2017: An Aggregated List


By nature top 10 board game lists of 2017 (or any top 10 list for that matter, for any year) are bound to be subjective.

Comprehensive board game lists are complicated by many factors, two of which are the many genres of board games, of which some reviewers may have specific (dis)interest, and reviewers’ time to play or read about all games.

For this list, I have aggregated other reviewers’ lists to create what I hope is a useful look at some of the best board games of 2017.

I am spotlighting games that either appeared on at least 2 of the 7 lists or were ranked #1 by a reviewer. I recommend you check out each individual’s respective list, though, to read their full thoughts on each game. That said, I am providing a summary of the comments for each spotlighted game.

Before getting to the games, here are some quick highlights:

  • Only 3 games appeared on at least four lists: Near and FarThe 7th Continent, and Spirit Island.
  • 48 different games appeared on at least one list.
  • Gloomhaven only appeared on 3 lists…but it was ranked 1st on all three!
  • 4 different games occupied the 1st spot on the remaining lists.

Link to all of the lists:

Best Board Game of 2017

Near and Far
Published by: Red Raven Games
Players: 2-4
Recommended Ages: 10+
Time to Play: 1-2 hours




BGQ – unranked

BB – unranked

DTTV – 3rd

DTES – 2nd

DTPC – 6th

IGN – 2nd

PBM – 6th

Ranker Comments

PBM: “The art is highly immersive, the atlas and the world it creates are detailed and captivating, and there are countless component and cards that increase the replayability of the game.”

IGN: “It also improves the writing and mechanics of [Above and Below], creating something smart and fresh.”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Four wanderers search for the Last Ruin, a city that legends say contains an artifact that will grant the greatest desires of the heart. A lost love, redemption, acceptance, a family rejoined– these are the fires that fuel the wanderers’ journeys, but can they overcome their own greed and inner demons on the way?

In Near and Far, you and up to three friends explore many different maps in a search for the Last Ruin, recruiting adventurers, hunting for treasure, and competing to be the most storied traveler. You must collect food and equipment at town for long journeys to mysterious locales, making sure not to forget enough weapons to fight off bandits, living statues, and rusty robots! Sometimes in your travels you’ll run into something unique and one of your friends will read what happens to you from a book of stories, giving you a choice of how to react, creating a new and memorable tale each time you play.

Best Board Game of 2017 (Runner-up)

Gloomhaven
Published by: Cephalofair Games
Players: 1-4
Recommended Ages: 12+
Time to Play: 30 minutes to 2 hours




BGQ – unranked

BB – unranked

DTTV – 1st

DTES – unranked

DTPC – 1st

IGN – 1st

PBM – unranked

Ranker Comments

IGN: “Players cooperate to clear out treacherous tombs and risk-filled ruins. What’s made it so popular are several clever twists to the formula. It’s got strategic combat, a choose-your-own-adventure style book to add narrative heft between adventures and, best of all, it’s a legacy game.”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for traveling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process, they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make.

The Other Game That Appeared on 5 Lists

The 7th Continent
Published by: Serious Poulp

Players: 1-4

Recommended Ages: 12+

Time to Play: a long f’ing time (1000 minutes)




BGQ – 8th

BB – 2nd

DTTV – 2nd

DTES – 7th

DTPC – unranked

IGN – unranked

PBM – 9th

Ranker Comments

Punchboard Media: This game kept me at the edge of my seat with every draw, as I knew that “death is lurking”. For its immersive art, brilliant game play, and hours of fun, The 7th Continent receives the mark of “Brilliant Design”.”

BB:“The 7th Continent offers a clever blend of exploration and choose your own adventure branching narrative moments. There are easily over a hundred hours of entertainment hidden in the core box plus expansions.”

BGQ:“Exploration, adventure, puzzle solving, and some card play all make up one of the most unique games I’ve played in a while.”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

In The 7th Continent, a solo or cooperative “choose-your-own-adventure” exploration board game, you choose a character and begin your adventure on your own or with a team of other explorers. Inspired by the Fighting Fantasy book series, you will discover the extent of this wild new land through a variety of terrain and event cards. In a land fraught with danger and wonders, you have to use every ounce of wit and cunning to survive, crafting tools, weapons, and shelter to ensure your survival.

Unlike most board games, it will take you many, MANY hours of exploring and searching the seventh continent until you eventually discover how to remove the curse(s)…or die trying.

The 7th Continent features an easy saving system so that you can stop playing at any time and resume your adventure later on, just like in a video game!

4 out of 7 Lists Ain’t Bad

Century: Spice Road
Published by: Plan B Games
Players: 2-5
Recommended Ages: 8+
Time to Play: 30-45 minutes




BGQ – unranked

BB – unranked

DTTV – unranked

DTES – 6th

DTPC – 2nd

IGN – 10th

PBM – 4th

Ranker Comments

Punchboard Media:Century: Spice Road is a fun and light game that revived simple Engine Building games for me”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Century: Spice Road is the first in a series of games that explores the history of each century with spice-trading as the theme for the first installment. In Century: Spice Road, players are caravan leaders who travel the famed silk road to deliver spices to the far reaches of the continent for fame and glory.

Board Game Quest’s Best Game of 2017

Wasteland Express Delivery Service
Published by: Pandasaurus Games
Players: 2-5
Recommended Ages: 13+
Time to Play: 90-120 minutes




BGQ – 1st

BB – unranked

DTTV – unranked

DTES – unranked

DTPC – unranked

IGN – unranked

PBM – unranked

Ranker Comments

Board Game Quest: “But when you look at the theme, presentation, and gameplay, Wasteland Express Delivery Service does it all for me. I’ve had a ton of fun earning money in the post-apocalyptic world and publisher Pandasaurus Games blew me away with the production values for the game. “

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Take on the role of the half-insane drivers for the last delivery company left of earth: the Wasteland Express Delivery Service. In order to scratch out a living in this deranged universe, drivers will deliver goods and guns between the handful of settlements pockmarked throughout the hellscape that you call home and take on missions from the handful of factions still trying to hold onto the last dregs of civilization.

Course, none of this is easy. Inhabiting the post-apocalyptic wasteland are unhinged characters set on unleashing mayhem at every turn. If you want to survive, you’ll have to battle through the psycho raiders who occupy the void between cities. Maybe the world can be saved, maybe you can bring humanity back from the brink. Band the world back together to fight back against the void. Then again, what the f*&% do you care? You’re here to get paid and live another day free. Outfit your truck, get loaded for bear, hire some allies, get paid, and just keep on truckin’.

Brawlin’ Brothers’ Best Game of 2017

Legacy of Dragonholt
Published by: Pandasaurus Games
Players: 1-6
Recommended Ages: 14+
Time to Play: at least 60 minutes




BGQ – unranked

BB – 1st

DTTV – unranked

DTES – unranked

DTPC – unranked

IGN – unranked

PBM – unranked

Ranker Comments

Brawlin’ Brothers: “The Legacy of Dragonholt doesn’t just tell you a story, it makes you, the player, an actor in a sprawling “theater of the mind” adventure. The pulpy action feels like it was lifted directly from an Indiana Jones movie, or the latest Uncharted video game.”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Legacy of Dragonholt is a narrative adventure game that creates a unique experience by blending aspects of roleplaying and adventure games, open world concept video games, and even Choose Your Own Adventure books. Unlike many games, Legacy of Dragonholt is not about winning or losing, but rather about the act of creating a story. Without the need for a Game Master, this game ensures that every player has the opportunity to shape how their adventure plays out while its intuitive gameplay means that you waste little time before jumping into your tale.

Dice Tower’s Eric Summerer’s Best Game of 2017

Unlock!
Published by: Kaissa Chess & Games
Players: -6
Recommended Ages: 10+
Time to Play: 45-75 minutes




BGQ – unranked

BB – 1st

DTTV – unranked

DTES – unranked

DTPC – unranked

IGN – unranked

PBM – unranked

Unlock! is a cooperative card game inspired by escape rooms that uses a simple system which allows you to search scenes, combine objects, and solve riddles. Play Unlock! to embark on great adventures, while seated at a table using only cards and a companion app that can provide clues, check codes, monitor time remaining, etc.

Punchboard Media’s Best Game of 2017

Queendomino
Published by: Blue Orange Games
Players: 2-4
Recommended Ages: 10+
Time to Play: 25 minutes




BGQ – unranked

BB – unranked

DTTV – unranked

DTES – unranked

DTPC – unranked

IGN – unranked

PBM – 1st

Ranker Comments

Punchboard Media: “It has a lot more strategy that is simple to explain but hard to master, its replayability in much better, and while challenging it still feels light and fast during a long game night. Further, the hidden-in-plain sight gems on the tiles are a delight to explore as you expand your kingdom”

Game Description (from manufacturer)

Build up the most prestigious kingdom by claiming wheat fields, forests, lakes, grazing grounds, marshes, and mountains. Your knights will bring you riches in the form of coins — and if you make sure to expand the towns on your lands, you will make new buildings appear, giving you opportunities for new strategies. You may win the Queen’s favors … but always be aware of the dragon!

Queendomino is a game completely independent from Kingdomino, while offering a choice of more complex challenges. Two to four players can play Queendomino independently, but also in connection with Kingdomino, allowing for games with 7×7 grids for four players, or for up to six players if you stick to 5×5 grids.”

Honorable Mention (3 lists)

Sagrada

Draft dice and use the tools-of-the-trade in Sagrada to carefully construct your stained glass window masterpiece.

Ranker Comments:

IGN: “Simple rules, striking aesthetics and satisfying puzzle solving give Sagrada a very wide range of appeal.”

PBM: “Finally, Peter Wocken’s art is marvelous as well as highly detailed (I photographed this game in a stained-glass studio, and a professional window maker noted that the art reflects the trade and is accurate).Finally, Peter Wocken’s art is marvelous as well as highly detailed (I photographed this game in a stained-glass studio, and a professional window maker noted that the art reflects the trade and is accurate).”


Wesley Lyles

Wesley is a jack of all trades hobbyist. Though much of his spare time is spent playing board games (especially solo card games like Legendary), Hearthstone, Rocket League, and MLB The Show.e He also enjoys most sports, but pays way too much attention to baseball and football.

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